Asian stocks at month high ahead of U.S. jobs data, gold rises


Asian stock markets rose Tuesday as gold flirted this week ahead of European and US data that is likely to provide clues as to the health of the global economy.

The global recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic remains mixed. Exports are picking up again, but wider economic activity is still being dampened by new measures to contain new outbreaks.

China’s factory activity grew the fastest in May this year as domestic and export demand picked up, although a sharp rise in commodity prices and stresses in supply chains affected the production of some companies, a company survey found on Tuesday. Continue reading

Taiwan (.TWII) and South Korea (.KS11) stock indices rose in early trading, while markets in Japan (.N225), Australia (.AXJO) and Hong Kong (.HSI) fell, and the broadest MSCI index for stocks in Asia Pacific outside Japan (.MIAPJ0000PUS) were up 0.3%.

The South Korean index rose 0.8%, fueling regional gains after the country’s exports recorded their strongest expansion in 32 years in May. This was another robust month of deliveries, fueled by stronger consumer demand around the world. L2N2NJ009

The MSCI Asia Index rose to its highest level in a month, taking its gains so far this year to almost 7%. World stocks have risen for a fourth straight month as adequate liquidity supported risk appetite despite fears of higher inflation.

US stock futures have barely changed after a Monday holiday and after European stock markets ended below record highs.

While asset markets have rallied over the past month, policymakers are increasingly focusing on fighting inflation at a time when the underlying structural economy has struggled to gain ground.

“The fixation of markets is now dependent on inflation, and rightly so because of so much quantitative easing and supply chain disruption,” said Hou Wey Fook, chief investment officer at DBS Bank.

The main event of the week will be US payrolls on Friday, with a median forecast of 650,000. The outcome, however, is uncertain after the unexpectedly weak rise of 266,000 in April.

Although US inflation data was above estimates last week, another big failure on the employment front would put pressure on the Fed to postpone plans to weaken its incentives, analysts say. Continue reading

The dollar fell against large competitors near multi-month lows as traders pondered the prospect of an early policy normalization by the Federal Reserve ahead of the employment report.

Next, the Reserve Bank of Australia is widely expected to remain on hold on Tuesday’s policy review and maintain a dovish bias.

Concerns about global inflation have supported gold. Prices for the yellow metal rose 8% this month and were well above $ 1,900. On Tuesday, gold prices traded near a five-month high reached last week.

Oil prices rose ahead of an OPEC + meeting and amid optimism that fuel demand will rise in the coming months with the start of the summer driving season in the US, the world’s largest oil consumer.

August Brent crude oil futures rose 0.8% to $ 69.89 a barrel, while U.S. crude oil rose 1.57% to $ 67.3.

There was little action in cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin was constant at $ 37,000.

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